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Endangered Cat Research and Monitoring Program at Laguna Atascosa NWR
Southwest Region, February 29, 2008
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Laguna Atascosa NWR Biologist Jody Mays carefully moves an Ocelot during the examination process.  (Photo Credit - Nova McKentley, USFWS Intern, 02/2008)
Laguna Atascosa NWR Biologist Jody Mays carefully moves an Ocelot during the examination process. (Photo Credit - Nova McKentley, USFWS Intern, 02/2008) - Photo Credit: n/a
Laguna Atascosa NWR Biologist Jody Mays and Intern Nova McKentley examine an ocelot for a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag and take it's temperature.  (Photo Credit - Hector Manzano, USFWS Intern, 02/2008)
Laguna Atascosa NWR Biologist Jody Mays and Intern Nova McKentley examine an ocelot for a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag and take it's temperature. (Photo Credit - Hector Manzano, USFWS Intern, 02/2008) - Photo Credit: n/a

Laguna Atascosa NWR has the lead for the USFWS for the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi and provides habitat for the largest known breeding population of ocelots remaining in the United States.  Live-trapping for ocelots continued in February 2008 as part of a long-term research and monitoring program.  Refuge staff and volunteers captured two ocelots and one bobcat during February.  A young adult male ocelot, approximately three to four years old, was captured February 1.  A subadult male bobcat, approximately six months to one year old, was captured February 2.  And a young adult female, approximately three to four years old, was captured February 19.  None of these three individuals had been captured before.  The ocelots were examined, fitted with a radiocollar, blood samples drawn, and then released.  The female ocelot was lactating, providing the first evidence of reproduction in the ocelot population since 2005.  The bobcat was examined and blood samples drawn for disease monitoring, and then the animal was released.

One additional rainwater catchment system was constructed by volunteers on the refuge during February.  Seven of these systems have now been constructed in locations associated with natural water sources on the refuge to provide supplemental fresh water for ocelots and other wildlife during drought conditions.  Remote trip-cameras set up at these locations have documented use of these supplemental water sources by a variety of wildlife, including ocelots, bobcats, javelina, nine-banded armadillos, white-tailed deer, coyotes, raccoons, eastern cottontail rabbits, rodents, and several bird species.  The ocelots captured in February have been photodocumented using these supplemental water sources.


Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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